Mission San Diego de Alcala

Mission San Diego de Alcala

May

28th, 2014

Table

of Contents

Page 1. Spanish Mission Period, Mission Life

Page 2. Indian Relations, San Diego Mission de Alcala at
Presido Hill

Page 3. San Diego Mission de Alcala at Mission Hills

Page 4. The Paranormal at Presidio Hill

Page 5. Bibliography

Spanish Mission Period


The Spanish exploration, trade and conquest eventually made its way to
the Americas beginning with the 1492 arrival of Christopher Columbus.
Further colonization of California by the Spanish during the Mission
Period (1769–1833) led to the establishment of 21 missions and
forts along the California coast. The first mission was Mission San
Diego de Alcala established in 1769 in San Diego, by Father Junipero
Serra. Missions were purposely constructed in areas where large
numbers of Native Indians lived. As each mission was established, a
path, called The El Camino Real, or Kings Highway, was created to
allow easier access for people,livestock and supplies. The mission
period would continue even after Mexico won it’s Independence from
Spain, in 1821. As the Mexican government matured, calls for the
secularization (“disestablishment”) of the Missions
increased, by December of 1836 all 21 Missions had succumbed.


The Spanish establishment of Missions on the pacific coast was three
fold. One, it allowed Spain to claim lands and resources from afar.
Two, it spread the Catholic religion and the Spanish language into
native Indian populations. Lastly, Spain would tax the converted
Indian populations as they became citizens.

Mission Life

 


Life for the indigenous Indian population would change drastically with
the coming of Spanish settlers in California. In most cases Indians
were forced to leave their traditional dwellings to live, work,
learn, and worship in the Missions. Probably the hardest change for
the Natives was the daily regiment of Mission life, waking up at a
certain time, morning mass, daily duties, etc. The Spanish Padres
looked upon the Indians like children and were very strict with them
as such. Spanish soldiers were a different lot. At times the soldiers
would lash out violently against the Indians without cause.
Additionally the Spanish unknowingly brought a series of diseases to
the Indian populace of which they had no immunity.

Indian Relations

 


The physical demands, along with the strictness of the Padres and violent
outbursts from the Spanish soldiers led to resistance from some
Indians. The largest form of resistance was escape, where by Indians
would seize any opportunity to flee the mission and forts to return
to their way of life. Some Indians looked at the Mission Padres as
evil and took effort to assassinate them. At Mission San Miguel three
Padres were poisoned and one died in 1801. In 1804 a Padre at San
Diego was poisoned, and in 1812, Costanoan Indians at Mission Santa
Cruz murdered a Padre who threatened to use a torture device as
punishment. The Kumeyaay of San Diego fought back against the
Spanish, right after their arrival by launching military style
assaults. In 1775, the Kumeyaay decimated the original Mission at
Presidio Hill and slayed Father Luis Jayme and two other Spaniards.


San Diego Mission de Alcala at Presidio Hill

 

Father Junipero Serra led the last of the Spanish land expeditions, into San
Diego from New Spain (Mexico), which arrived on June 29
th 1769. At 56
years of age Junipero was a small man, 5′ 2″ and 120 pounds and
was plagued by a chronic leg infection. In July 16, 1769, Father
Serra established Mission San Diego and the California Mission system
had begun. Presidio Hill (Presidio Park), had a commanding view of
San Diego Bay and the ocean, allowing the Spanish to see potential
intruders. On May 14, 1769, Spanish Commandant Pedro Fages
established El Presidio Reál de San Diego (Royal Presidio of
San Diego), a fortified position against possible intruders. Mission
de Alcala

was built on Presidio Hill in proximity to the fort, for protection. The
natives resented the Spaniards’ intrusion and the settlement was
attacked within a month of being established. Mission de Alcala at
Presidio Hill was short lived. There was the issue of tension between
the Spanish military and Indians coupled with a lack of dependable
water supply. As such, the Mission was relocated 6 miles inland in
1774.


San Diego Mission de Alcala at Mission Hills


Father Luis Jayme, with permission from Father Serra, made the decision to
ultimately move Mission de Alcala inland. The new Mission was now
closer to the Indian villages and the San Diego River. Father Jayme
was accepted favorably by most of the local Indians. With the Spanish
soldiers 6 miles away, there was almost immediately a notable upsurge
in the number of conversions, which by 1775, numbered 431. Not all
was fine for every Indian at the Mission. Two became upset and
defiant over Mission rules and regulations. Those two Indians would
incite over 6oo more and on the moonlit night of November 4th, 1775
when they horrifically massacred Father Jayme, pillaged, and burned
Mission Alcala to the ground.


Father Serra returned to the Mission and would oversee the rebuilding. Out
of fear for another Indian attack, the mission was built according to
the specifications of an army fort. Mission life continued,
1797
was the most successful year: 565 baptisms, 1405 converted to
Christianity; the land area encompassed 50,000 acres, harvesting
corn, wheat, barley, kidney beans and chick peas; vineyards produced
enough grapes for wine and gardens yielded vegetables. The mission
owned 20,000 sheep, 10,000 cattle, and 1250 horses.


After Mexico gained its independence from Spain, secularization in 1834
removed the administration of the mission from the padres and gave it
to Santiago Arguello. Eventually the United States would acquire the
land, and the mission saw use by the American military from 1853-1859
as a Calvary and livestock post. The mission would also serve as an
Indian children school for 17 years. Over time the Mission became
abandoned and fell into a complete state of disrepair. In 1931, the
mission was rebuilt to mirror the 1813 church. Mission de Alcala is
an active church, and museum in the Mission Hills community in San
Diego.

The
Paranormal and Presidio Hill


Presidio Hill, was converted into a park and the Serra museum erected under
the vision of San Diego businessman George Marston. Some local
paranormal investigators and paranormalists believe the history of
the original mission is still alive today. Several ghosts are
believed to inhabit the park including that of a little white deer
named Lucy. The Serra museum is also reported to be haunted by
similar cloaked monk like figures, and a boy spirit has been
witnessed atop the mission tower.


It is unclear who or what is haunting the back trails of Presidio Park.
The best reports come from a local paranormal group called San Diego
Paranormal Eye, which has been investigating the park since 2011.
According to an anonymous guest member, “I felt my necklace
levitate from around my neck, I reached for it, only to find it on
the ground by my feet.” Other paranormal reports include
possible possession, and odd light phenomena. Matt Barron founder of
San Diego Paranormal Eye urges, “We “HIGHLY” advise
any individual or individuals not to investigate the mission or
trails without a guide to, investigate safely.


Another less well known rumor is that of a secret Padre mine that supposedly
existed in San Diego. The Padre mine rumor is usually associated with
other larger south west cities and states. According to the story the
Spanish Padres used Indian labor to mine for rich deposits of Gold
and Silver. According to the legend there were 200 Indian forced
laborers mining rich deposits. The Indians would end up destroying
the mine along with all 200 workers to ensure the mine would be lost
forever.

Bibliography


Literature purchased at Mission de Alcala pages 1-4

HTTP://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_San_Diego_de_Alcala

https://www.sandiegohistory.org/serra_museum.htm

http://www.missionsandiego.com/mission_history.html

http://www.militarymuseum.org/PresidioSD.html

http://www.sandiegohaunted.com/listings/old-town/presidio-park-ghost-spirit-haunt/

Interview Mathew Barron of San Diego Paranormal Eye